Apr 28, 2011 | Grant History, Public Policy Initiatives

Just as federal policies affect society, so do state and local policies affect the quality of life – often hitting closer to home.

Sharing a mutual respect for Michigan’s future and free enterprise, the Gerstacker Foundation has given the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan, more than $817,000 in grants.  The Center is a nonpartisan research and educational institute that promotes sound solutions to state and local policy issues that range from education and retirement to lower taxes.

To foster an informed citizenry, the Center also works to bring about greater government transparency and makes data on government institutions accessible to the public.

“The free enterprise system works, but its survival requires vigorous defense and data-driven policy decisions,” said Joseph G. Lehman, Mackinac Center president.  “The Gerstacker Foundation helps us equip policymakers to make informed choices and empower citizens to hold them accountable to principles of good government, while educating future generations.”

When analyzing issues, the Center examines the roles of all institutions, gathers perspectives from all disciplines and viewpoints, and considers the long-term consequences.  It also shares its findings with the general public.  Educational programs include Issues & Ideas forums for Lansing policymakers, High School Debate Workshops that teach students about free-market enterprise, and Michigan Science magazine for high school students and their teachers.

Today, the Mackinac Center is considered the largest state-focused, free-market think tank in the nation.